How Modern Science Came to China

China was not exposed to Euclid’s geometry until the arrival of the Jesuits in the late sixteenth century. It was not exposed to Newtonian mechanics until 1849, more than 160 years after the publication of Principia

The Transformation of Japan after the Meiji Restoration

In the three or four decades that followed the Meiji Restoration, Japan utterly transformed itself. The transformation was wide-ranging, deliberate, determined, and profound. By the beginning of World War I, Japan could justly claim to be among the leading nations of the world…

Why Nations Fail: 
Extractive and Inclusive Institutions

Acemoglu and Robinson’s goal is to explain why some nations are rich and others are poor. They present a theory based on the interaction between political and economic institutions. Casual empiricism suggests that its explanatory power is quite strong…

Why Nations Fail:
 Theory is Tidy, History is Messy

Acemoglu and Robinson argue that sustained growth is almost always attained in a particular way: inclusive political institutions develop first, followed by inclusive economic institutions, followed by growth. They recognize the boldness of their claim…

Property and Property Rights: A History

What do property and property rights mean today? What are their philosophical and economic foundations?

The Political Impact of Nineteenth-Century Socialism

Socialist ideas began to appear in the early 1800s, and socialist and communist political parties were active before 1870. The most successful Marxist party, Germany’s SPD, was the largest party in the Reichstag by 1914…

An Economic History of Russia: 1900-1924

In the first decades of the twentieth century, Russia went from autocracy, to revolution and civil war, to communist rule. Economically, it went from an impoverished market economy, to War Communism and the New Economic Policy, to the beginnings of the command economy…